On April 24 1957 a Hampden Park crowd of 80,000 witnessed the greatest moment in Falkirk’s long and mostly inauspicious history: a 2-1 Scottish Cup Final replay victory over Kilmarnock. ‘Falkirk won because they lasted the pace much better in extra time,’ recorded the Falkirk Herald. ‘It was the type of game that made the knees knock, an all-action hard fought match.’
Within a year of their triumph two of their number had wound up at Goodison Park. Right back Alex Parker would go on to be one of the Everton’s most distinguished servants and lift the 1963 League Championship. Eddie O’Hara, by contrast, would spend two years at Goodison as a largely peripheral player before enjoying a stint in the lower leagues.
The £7,500 outside left was a hark back to the classic, jinking winger of Scottish football lore. He had been something of a goalscorer north of the border, but in a transitional team at Goodison he struggled. Everton lost his first five matches in a royal blue shirt and only a handful of games in he was part of the team that suffered a 10-4 pasting by Tottenham Hotspur.
By then Ian Buchan, who had signed him, had been replaced and his replacement, Johnny Carey, seemed more disposed to alternatives. His cause wasn’t helped by a long term injury, either. In March 1959 a board miute recorded: ‘It was reported that O'Hara was suffering from a 3 year old ankle injury which may mean that he would not be 100% fit to play football again.’ A second opinion ‘confirmed’ this was the case and recommended ‘that the operation to shorten the ligaments be done and this was approved.’
By then he was a fringe player and after losing his place again at the start of the 1959/60 season he was sold to Rotherham United for £3,500.